Thursday, 27 February 2014

Reviewing the Chaos Demons Codex, Part 1A. AWSR and Warpstorm

Preface 

Hi guys, I had a lot of fun doing my review of the Space Marine codex, so I've decided to do something similar for the Chaos Demons Codex. I also plan to review the Tau Codexes and if I end up having time over the next few months, some of the other sixth edition codexes that I haven't actually played as. In this first segment of my review of the Chaos Demons Codex, I plan to review the random tables that make Demons so Daunting, and hopefully reveal the ways to turn them to your advantage. As a note on perspective my comp-demons list is monokhorne, while my competitive list is basically undivided - except for slaanesh because I don't like his sugardrop nipple ring bullshit.

Finally, I apologise for the late delivery of this post, I had O-week this week and that's always a little hectic as a university student. 

Rules

Armywide: 

Demon While not explicitly army wide, every single unit in the codex has the Demon Special Rule. This is huge, giving them a 5++ off the bat. the other nice ting it does is give every unit in your army fear. Now, fear is like soul blaze or pinning, people tend to forget it exists. However, since every unit in your army has this USR, you're bound to cause a unit to fail a fear test every once in a while, which could cause quite a deal of good for your army.

Tzeentch: Re-rolls ones for saves (of any kind) and gives +3 LD when casting psychic powers. Tzeench doesn't feel SITW as badly as demons do. (Except khorne, since he doesn't care). Also ensures all psychic powers are generally reliable. 

Khorne: Furious Charge and something about Chariots. Furious Charge is nice against most armies that doen't have T2 base (3 in the case of crushers). A bloodthirster potentially gets S8 base OTC, which is huge if you need to take out medium armour or lots of T4 with multiple wounds. Furious charge also makes all khorne units about 1/6 better against the majority of infantry in play at the moment.  

Nurgle: Slow and Purposeful (eh), shrouded and Defensive Grenades. Charging these guys sucks and if you're in charge range they usually have 2+ cover. Makes Plaguebearers the best cappers in Codex Daemons. 

Slaanesh: +3" on their run moves and fleet on their DP, GD, and lessers, oh and soulgrinders. Doesn't really help fast attack or elites, since both already have fleet, but they get +6" to run moves instead.
Edit: Totallynotalphalegion of dakkadakka pointed out that I forgot to mention that slaanesh gives rending to his lackeys. this is huge, meaning that slaanesh's followers can either drown their targets in sheer weight of attacks, or use that same weight of attacks to garner enough rending wounds to tear their opponent to ribbons. Either way, slaaneshi daemons of all stripes are scary opponents because of this nature - they also tend to go before you, adding to the hurt. 

Daemonic Instability
Well fuck allies, right? Everyone's Convenience because of this rule. But that's okay, because it also gives you carefully worded fearless that lets you... 

1. Go to ground
2. Not be affected by terrify
3. Take wounds from losing combat.
4. Not Join units without the Daemonic Instability Special Rule
5. Also, you can't join units that aren't the same alignment as you

1. is huge for nurgle daemons - Plaguebearers have no shooting so they just hide out on a piece of 5+ terrain with an objective and get a constant 2+ cover save. 

2. Again, huge. Terrify really hurts armies that rely on fearless, but it's useless here. 

3. This hurts, especially if you roll double 6's (feels pretty good if you roll double 1's!) but if you play your cards right this should happen with your heavy hitters. IF you lose combat, you've probably already lost the game. 

4. What do Chaos Space Marines really offer you that you can't already get?

5. Meh. That's fair.

A byproduct of this rule is that no unit has a leadership above 9, and even then only the very best of the best of the best HQ's have LD9. this does hurt when you actually have to roll daemonic instability checks. 

Beasts/Cavalry 
Not really a USR, but 6 out of 39 choices have these rules. 2 are of Khorne, 2 of Slaanesh and 2 of Nurgle. 

The Khorne and Nurgle benefit from Fleet from both sets of rules, and all benefit from move through cover for their beasts. Again, all benefit from hammer of wrath when it is in use. 

Warp Storm Table 

The Bad
2. A 2.7% chance of Daemonic Instability test on every unit. this hurts you, but it also hurts your opponent if he plays Daemons. With an average leadership of 7 in most units, 59% of the time you won't take any wounds from this, so roughly 2 out of 5 units will take 2.5 wounds from it. 

3. A 5.55% chance of a character with Daemonic instability basically being killed. (LD 9 characters should take 1.5 wounds on LD9, but LD8 characters should die to it.) This one really hurts in min/max lists. But, characters are 5 points a pop. Take them on your troops, even if they recieve no greater rewards. If you have 4 important characters (heralds and greater daemons) and 4 minor characters (squad leaders), you have a 50/50 chance of hurting either. This is even less painful if you're playing against daemons. 

4. An 8.33% chance that the warp storm will murder your entire family for giggles. This rule makes a grimoired unit 25% less effective at resisting damage, fateweaver 33% less effective at resisting damage and a normal squad 50% less effective at resisting damage. It's dark days when you roll this without a re-roll, but you can live through it, if it isn't turn one through three.

Verdict There's about a 1/6 chance that something will go wrong, given the percentage chance that these rolls will come up - they're not that bad, except 4. Screw 4. 

The Sometimes good, Somtimes bad
5. An 11.11% chance of causing 1/6 enemy units ("enemy" including your own daemons of nurgle) to be 'hit' (it still scatters) by a S4AP5 large blast that ignores cover and has the barrage special rule. This is very useful against tyranids and guard, and any army that daemons would generally beat anyway (except tau, I guess - it hurts pathfinders). This one's gonna get a generally good from me, as it doesn't really hurt nurgle daemons that much and can hurt the rght enemy targets a great deal.

6. A 13.88% chance of causing 1/6 enemy (and your tzeench daemons) units with T3 to lose 3 wounds (assuming they are lacking an invulnerable save, and don't have a 2+.) Very nice, probably my favourite of the warp storm table's "could be good" section. very effective on the right targets, including fateweaver. 

7. A 16.67% chance to do... nothing! But seriously, this is like free parking in monopoly. You get a pass. For this turn.

8. A 13.88 chance of causing 1/6 enemy units (and your khorne daemons) to lose about 3 wounds (1.75 if they're T6). This one's nice, because most khorne units don't care about S6 rending, and it can hurt enemy tanks, which is never a bad thing. 

9. An 11.11% chance of causing 1/6 enemy units (and your slaanesh daemons) to take a small blast battlecannon to the face. Useful against the large majority of enemy targets. Also barrage, which is always nice. 

Verdict: About a 4/6 chance that something that could be good and could really hurt happens. These effects are designed to try to make there be some benefit to making monogod armies; if you only run khorne for example, the worst these options can ever punish you is a 1/6 chance that you'll take D6 wounds. I think Nurgle's rot is probably the hardest of the deals, and it will really hurt fateweaver if it ever goes off on him.

The Good

10. An 8.33% chance that the warp storm will make your entire family millionaires for giggles. +1 to invulnerable saves is invaluable in an army that relies solely on its invulnerable saves to carry the day, so there's never a dull moment when this result is rolled. 

11. A 5.55% chance of getting a free herald in exchange for your enemy's warlord/backup psyker. Not useful that often as you'll only ever roll it once against that enemy army with multiple psykers, and there's like a 50/50 chance they'll pass the test (LD10). if you find a LD9/8/7 psyker, you've got yourself a herald. If there are no Psykers, you get a 7, which isn't anything to sniff at.

12. A 2.77% chance of gaining 10 bloodletters, daemonettes or plaguebearers for your army. Not that useful in kill points, but very useful in scouring and the two D3+2 objective missions.

Verdict: About a 1/6 chance that something good will happen. Even in kill points, 12 can be useful - if your enemy is having to fire overwatch into 10 plaguebearers that just appeared instead of your dedicated combat unit, you'll thank your lucky stars. 

Parting Thoughts

I was going to try to write about all the psychic powers and greater rewards in this thread as well, but I felt that it would take a very long wall of text to do all of them justice. Instead, I've split it into two different sections for your reading pleasure.